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Sharkey v. O'Neal

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

February 10, 2015

DENNIS SHARKEY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
ERAL O'NEAL; SILVA FOSTER; D. GRAHAM; CHARLES SYDNEY, Defendants-Appellees

Argued and Submitted,  November 5, 2013, San Francisco, California

As Corrected February 24, 2015.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. D.C. No. 3:09-cv-04341-JSW. Jeffrey S. White, District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY [**]

Americans with Disabilities Act/Civil Rights

The panel reversed the district court's order dismissing as time-barred plaintiff's claims under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

The district judge applied California's two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims to plaintiff's claims against his parole officers, which alleged that defendants transferred plaintiff from his apartment to motels which did not accommodate his disabilities. The panel held that with respect to plaintiff's claim under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the district court was required to borrow the three-year limitations period applicable to claims under California Government Code § 11135, rather than the limitations period applicable to personal injury claims in California. Under this three-year limitations period, plaintiff's Americans with Disabilities Act claim was not time-barred. With respect to plaintiff's remaining claims, the panel held that the district court abused its discretion in dismissing the pro se claims with prejudice without explanation. The panel remanded for an application of the factors set forth in Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182, 83 S.Ct. 227, 9 L.Ed.2d 222 (1962), and the presumption in favor of granting leave to amend with respect to all claims other than plaintiff's Americans with Disabilities Act claim.

Lisa Ells (argued) and Sanford Jay Rosen, Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, San Francisco, California, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Neah Huynh (argued), Deputy Attorney General; Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General; Jonathan L. Wolff, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Thomas S. Patterson, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, San Francisco, California, for Defendants-Appellees.

Before: Stephen Reinhardt and Paul J. Watford, Circuit Judges, and Robert S. Lasnik, District Judge.[*]

OPINION

Page 768

REINHARDT, Circuit Judge

Dennis Sharkey appeals from an order of the district court dismissing as time-barred his claims under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and various provisions of the Constitution pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The district judge applied California's two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims to all of Sharkey's claims. With respect to Sharkey's claim under Title II of the ADA, we hold that the district court did not apply the correct statute of limitations. District courts must borrow the three-year limitations period applicable to claims under California Government Code § 11135, rather than the limitations period applicable to personal injury claims in California. Under this three-year limitations period, Sharkey's ADA claim is not time-barred. With respect to his ...


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